In 1991, the United States Congress passed a landmark piece of legislation – the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA). Through ISTEA, many innovative ideas became transportation regulations including increased funding, increased local decision-making, use of new technologies, and partnerships with the private sector.
In 1998, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21)
was passed as the successor to ISTEA. TEA-21 was again an important piece of legislation that protected transportation revenues for transportation uses, increased funding, provided equity in returning Federal gasoline taxes back to the States, and enhanced safety and the environment.
In 2005 Congress passed the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) . This legislation guided surface transportation policy and funding through 2009. Nine short-term extensions passed since SAFETEA-LU expired in 2009. The final short-term extension of SAFETEA-LU extended surface transportation authorization through June 30, 2012.
On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed into law a two-year $105 billion surface transportation authorization, titled Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). MAP-21 reauthorized the federal-aid highway, highway safety and transit programs that were last authorized by SAFETEA-LU. New programs and funding levels began on October 1, 2012, and continued through September 30, 2014.
The final short-term extension of MAP-21 expired on December 4, 2015.
On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act into law, which authorizes Federal highway, transit, safety and rail programs for five years at $305 billion. The FAST Act is effective October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2020.
Reauthorization of TEA-21